‘Scouts after Ronny, Omalla’ – Stars head coach Firat reveals

Friday, November 24th, 2023 02:00 | By
'Scouts after Ronny, Omalla' - Stars head coach Firat reveals
Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat. PHOTO/Rodgers Ndegwa

Q. Coach, everybody is talking about Benson Omalla and new revelation Rooney Onyango, what are your thoughts about them?

A. I don’t judge players from the Club they come from, all players are equal to me. But the passionate Gor Mahia fans should know that I’m very keen on my work. But maybe I need to explain some points to the Gor Mahia fans. You don’t see me in Social Media doing show, I work. I am not a coach who doesn’t do anything for players but only talk.

Q. What do you mean by that exactly?

A. I am a foreigner, if I want to help Kenyan Football and the Players, then I need to do Actions, things Local Coaches cant do.

Q: And what exactly are your thoughts about Omalla and Onyango?

A. First, I never tell them lies. I don’t tell them that they are fantastic. They are young and talented and I tell them what they have and what they need to improve on to make better and take their game to a higher level. For example how to keep the ball safe while dribbling. I also avail them, of analysis videos on their WhatApp after their matches with the national team. They are very promising despite the fact that they have just been in the national team briefly, but they also have to carry what they have learnt from me in the national team to their club and I will be watching their league match this weekend to see.

Q. Do you think it will be possible to bring the local players to highest levels?

A. My work is to open doors for the rich talents in the country. In the past, most of our foreign-based players played for Gor Mahia. They played well there and got offers from foreign teams. This year Gor was crowned champions but nobody got an offer from Europe. These players need to get the offers abroad while still young. It may not be my job, but I recently spoke with one of my friends who owns a Club in Europe, and are Champions in their Country and also play in the European Cup. I recommend Omalla and Onyango to him and the boys know about it. He watched our 5-0 win against Seychelles and will come before the Winter Transfer period to see the boys live and watch some more matches before he makes up his mind. I am sure he will sign at least one or both players.

Q. That’s a clear message, how can you rate the performance of Rooney Onyango against Seychelles?

A. I read that a football expert in Kenya wrote that Rooney who was not even playing in his preferred position as a right back, was the player of the match and that made me laugh. So does it mean he is playing as a right winger in the national team better than at Gor Mahia where he plays as a Right Back?

He is definitely playing better because he is not playing in the Right Back position. Rooney has a lot of offensive qualities which he has started learning quickly in the national team. He is clearly an offensive player and that’s the position I will be using him in. If you put him on the Right Back, it's like driving a Porsche with a hand break. But he has a lot to learn and he will swiftly make his way to Europe.

If you look at his statistics, the proof is there, because he not only creates assists but also scores goals. He has won more offensive challenges than defensive challenges. No one can dispute this.

Q. Coach, do you have any message to Gor Mahia fans ahead of their match against Muhoroni Youth on Sunday?

First I wish all Clubs in Kenya all the best in their league campaigns. Coming to Gor Mahia fans, I know they are emotional and love their team so much. They could be going through some bad period at the moment, with two goals in five matches, and I understand that they are angry, but this can't be a reason to fight with police and attack other teams. After rain, there is always sunshine. They should relax because Gor will soon have good results and Omalla and Onyango will make them happy.

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